Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions Glossary

"Breakfast of Champions"

Described in a disclaimer-type passage in the following manner:

The expression "Breakfast of Champions" is a registered trademark of General Mills, Inc., for use on a breakfast cereal product. The use of the identical expression as the title for this book is not intended to indicate an association with or sponsorship by General Mills, nor is it intended to disparage their fine products.

This is also what Bonnie MacMahon says jokingly every time she serves a customer a martini.

"E pluribus unum"

It translates in Latin to, "Out of many, one." It is the motto of the United States, and mentioned in Chapter 1.

Bermuda Ern

Described as "the largest creatures ever to fly under their own power," these birds became extinct after men brought the athlete's foot fungus into their rookery. Trout spent his childhood measuring wingspreads of the dead birds.


The "Blast Interval Normalization Computer," which was installed on heavy bombers to do the actual dropping of bombs during World War II. The "brain" of the Robo-Magic machine became the nerve center of this system.


No longer in effect or use; not operating or functioning.

In the Prologue, it is used to describe the Indianapolis times, a newspaper for which Phoebe Hurty wrote a column. In the Epilogue, it is used to describe the Monon Railroad, which used to run through the neighborhood in which the narrator accosts Trout.


A chemical used to clean drains.

free will

The faculty of being able to make one's own decisions, independent of a creator.


The body of an airplane.


The Emperor of Rome from 218-222, whose eccentricity and debauchery led to an insurrection in which he was killed.


The part of the brain that that acts as an endocrine gland by producing hormones, including the releasing factors that control the hormonal secretions of the pituitary gland. It is involved in the processes that occur within the narrator when he reacts to the attack by Kazak in the Epilogue.

incipient echolalia

The symptom of mindlessly repeating aloud whatever word or sound has just been heard. It afflicts Dwayne from the beginning of Chapter 15 on.


Kilgore Trout's word for a mirror, and a motif throughout the story. Trout pretends mirrors are holes between two universes, and the narrator literally "uses" them as such.

locomotor ataxia

Also called tabes dorsalis, it is a late form of syphilis resulting in a hardening of the dorsal columns of the spinal cord and marked by shooting pains, emaciation, and loss of muscular coordination.

The narrator explains that his suspicion "that human beings are robots, are machines" stems from having seen men suffering from this disease as a boy.


A material used to plaster the sides of old houses with colored cement, to make them look as if they are made of stone.

Pluto Gang

The term given to Trout's anonymous attackers on Forty-second Street, when he innocently says, "For all I know, that car may have been occupied by an intelligent gas from Pluto."

Saint Anthony

The supposed subject of Rabo Karabekian's painting The Temptation of Saint Anthony, Anthony was a hermit and the Egyptian founder of Christian monasticism.

Saint Athanasius

Lived from about 296-373 AD, the Greek patriarch of Alexandria and leading defender of Christian orthodoxy against Arianism.

Saint Sebastian

A Roman soldier who was shot by archers when it was discovered that he was a secret Christian. The narrator points out that he survived the incident.

He is the subject of a painting by El Greco, featured on Mary Alice Miller's Olympic gold medal.


A mental disorder characterized by some, but not necessarily all, of the following features: emotional blunting, intellectual deterioration, social isolation, disorganized speech and behavior, delusions, and hallucinations. It is also a state characterized by the coexistence of contradictory or incompatible elements, much like the universes of Breakfast of Champions.

The narrator does not know for certain whether he has this disorder.

Sugar Creek

The only significant surface water within eight miles of Midland City. It has become terribly polluted, and coats the feet of anyone who wades in it (including Kilgore Trout and Dwayne Hoover) in a plastic gunk.